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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

Caledonian Hotel wasn't quite such good value. Life
was there, of course, offering itself ungrudgingly as
material to be observed and ultimately transmuted
into memoirs; but it was lounge life, and the collop
of it which I indiscriminately absorbed wasówell, I
will record it without labouring the metaphor any
further. (The word collop, by the way, is inserted for
the sake of its Caledonian associations.) I sat myself
down within easy hearing distance of a well-dressed
yellow-haired woman with white eyelashes; she was
having tea with an unemphatic-looking major with a
sandy moustache. The subjects undergoing discussion
were Socialism, Pacifism, Ramsay MacDonald, and
Snowden, and the major was acting as audience. His
fair companion was "fairly on her hind-legs" about
it all. Pacifists, she complained, were worse than the
Germans. As for MacDonald and Snowdenó"I only
hope that if they do start their beloved revolution,33
she exclaimed, "they'll both be strung up to the near-
est lamp-post by the soldiers they are now trying to
betray."

"Well, Mabel, I suppose you're old enough to know
your own mind," replied the stalwart and sleepy-eyed
major.

"And what will you do, Archie, if there's ever a
revolution?" she enquired.

"Oh, hide I suppose," he answered.

"Really, Archie, I sometimes wonder how you
came to be my cousin!" She handed him back his
automatic cigarette-lighter, which he closed with a
click, looking as if he'd prefer to be competing for the
scratch medal at Prestwick or Muirfield instead of
hearing pacifists consigned to perdition. The hotel
musicians then struck up with Mendelssohn's (Ger-
man) Spring Song, to which she was supplying a self-

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